Archive for the ‘Kathy Cox’ Category

Your morning jolt: Herman Cain’s blur of a weekend

Life has been a blur for GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain since he won that Florida straw poll. This weekend was particularly busy for entrepreneur and former radio talk show host:

– In Los Angeles on Friday, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza — on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” — recited his resume and reacted to being called “Herb Cain” by Sarah Palin. Cain reviewed his Muslim gaffe from the spring, and declared that Rick Perry of Texas was a good governor. Emphasis on “governor.”

– Also Friday, Cain spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael and another staffer left the campaign. CNN asked Carmichael if her departure was a sign of staffing trouble. “No comment,” she said, insisting that her departure was “amicable.”

– On Saturday, Cain won the National Federation of Republican Women’s national convention straw poll in Kansas City with 49 percent of 505 cast by women from 41 states. Following Cain were Rick Perry, 14 percent; Mitt Romney, 13 percent; and Newt Gingrich with …

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Your morning jolt: Tea party, business woes give Nathan Deal some identity problems

The tea party movement gave the Republican establishment another dose of heartburn on Tuesday, pushing Christine O’Donnell to an upset against U.S. Rep. Michael Castle in Delaware’s GOP primary for U.S. Senate.

O’Donnell’s victory gives Democrats a better chance of holding on to that seat – and perhaps the Senate itself – in November.

But here’s the relevant paragraph for Georgia, from the New York Times:

Mr. Castle, a moderate who served two terms as governor and had been reliably winning elections for the last four decades, became the latest establishment Republican casualty. Republican leaders, who had actively opposed Ms. O’Donnell, said the outcome complicated the party’s chances of winning control of the Senate.

While the GOP is giddy with the current anti-Democratic climate, the sheer volatility of the tea-tinged Republican electorate is unnerving, and has forced some unusual decisions, even here.

Specifically, the tea party movement and its anti-Washington attitude has …

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Kathy Cox’s exit interview: ‘04 attempt to remove ‘evolution’ was a mistake

While she was state school superintendent, Kathy Cox didn’t often mix with members of the fourth estate.

Former state school superintendent Kathy Cox at a going-away part last week. Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com

Former state school superintendent Kathy Cox at a going-away part last week. Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com

But in an exit interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) the state’s former top educator addressed two sensitive topics: Her 2004 attempt to strike references to “evolution,” in favor of the term “biological changes over time,” and her personal declaration of bankruptcy in 2008.

O’Hayer has posted the first portion of that interview here.

On evolution, Cox said:

“It was a great lesson for me….The standards are more than a classroom teacher. They represent something to the larger public. They represent something to the larger entity of the nation. And that was a great lesson for me, that I needed to step out of my shoes as a teacher sometimes and see the bigger picture.

“And even though I was trying to make it so that our science standards could be such that a teacher …

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Competition is good for everything — except the Georgia ballot

Competition will solve any problem, according to the wisdom of the rubber-chicken circuit.

School systems would be sharper if they only had some competition. Widget prices would plummet and wages would skyrocket, if only the power of competition were unleashed.

Fox News’ Glenn Beck even wonders if competition from private armies might juice our national defense. “I’d like to give it a whirl,” he says.

The one place where increased competition can’t work — and in fact is too dangerous to attempt — is the Georgia ballot. Republicans and Democrats agree on this point. Over the last 70 years or so, both parties have conspired to make sure that they remain the dominant actors every election cycle. This one included.

Mary Norwood, candidate for Fulton County Commission chairman/AJC

Mary Norwood, candidate for Fulton County Commission chairman/AJC

Since 1988, a small piece of ground has been given up to the Libertarian Party, which can place candidates on the ballot by votes of its state convention. But Georgia law still places a tremendous — some …

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Your island jolt: Wood chips fly over charges of theft in governor’s race

From the veranda of the Jekyll Island Club – An island debate among the Democratic candidates for governor this afternoon, hosted by the Georgia Press Association, is highly likely to include charges of theft.

On Thursday, former Gov. Roy Barnes launched his sixth TV ad – this one proposing that Georgia Power and other utilities be required to burn wood pellets from Georgia pines to generate some of their power. Thousands of jobs could be created, he said.

House Minority Leader DuBose Porter of Dublin this morning says Barnes is guilty of intellectual poaching.

“I have been advocating wood-fired power for years. I know it will create thousands of jobs in Georgia — foresters, skidder operators, mechanics — and help landowners by creating a market for timber.”

Porter said. “Coal produces jobs for people outside of Georgia. Wood-fired power doesn’t poison Georgia’s rivers and streams. Coal-fired power does. Wood-fired power doesn’t create pollution that harms unborn children. …

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Sonny Perdue to name Brad Bryant to state super job?

My AJC colleague Maureen Downey has picked up word that Gov. Sonny Perdue will name Brad Bryant, a state Board of Education member from DeKalb, as interim state school chief in the wake of Kathy Cox’s resignation.

He’s expected to conduct an independent campaign aimed at November for a full four-year term. Bryant is a past president of the Georgia School Boards Association.

Read his bio here.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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A tidbit to back up those whispers about George Israel

Education leaders say they’re hearing more and more whispers that retiring Georgia Chamber of Commerce President George Israel will be Gov. Sonny Perdue’s choice for state school superintendent – and an independent campaign aimed at the November ballot.

Georgia chamber president George Israel

Georgia chamber president George Israel

And suddenly there’s evidence to support that talk.

On Monday, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce – out of the blue – posted on its website a full-throated endorsement of Perdue’s pursuit of a federal grant built around school reform – called “Race to the Top.” It was composed by Israel.

Wrote the former mayor of Macon:

“Georgia’s roadmap for implementing reforms in [Race to the Top's] four assurance areas — standards and assessments, data systems to support instruction, great teachers and leaders, and school turnarounds — is clear and comprehensive, and will allow us to both achieve and sustain those goals.”

Not stirring stuff. But it might be written more for U.S. Department of Education …

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A wave of teacher layoffs set to wash over Georgia politics

Cobb County school teachers protest budget cuts that resulted in 579 faculty layoffs. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Cobb County school teachers protest budget cuts that resulted in 579 faculty layoffs. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

A wave that Georgia Republicans have feared for the better part of a year is approaching the shoreline.

This month, thousands of public school teachers across the state were formally notified that their services were no longer required. They will be joined in the unemployment line by thousands of others — school clerks, cafeteria workers and bus drivers.

Roughly 3,500 of the state’s 118,000 public school teachers are at risk, according to one estimate — although the state Department of Education says an exact count won’t be available until this fall.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond says his department has prepared for 8,000 school-related applications for jobless benefits this summer.

Even more teachers and school workers could lose their jobs next year, as federal stimulus funding is depleted.

Spread across the state’s 180 school systems, it’s hard to …

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Your morning jolt: Why Sonny Perdue is likely to name a caretaker to replace Kathy Cox

More on this later, but the guessing in Georgia’s education community is that Gov. Sonny Perdue will appoint a caretaker to fill out the last six months of School Superintendent Kathy Cox’s term rather than either of two Republicans in the contest the advantage of the incumbency.

As if having an “(i)” next to your name is an actual advantage in this climate.

Here’s the situation: Cox gave notice of her June 30 resignation after the qualifying period that ended in April. So Perdue’s choices for a long-term superintendent are limited to three Democrats and two Republicans.

Perdue intends to pick a successor before Cox leaves, so that Georgia can continue to pursue a competition for federal dollars known as “Race to the Top.” This is important.

Assume that to choose a Democrat would prompt a GOP revolution. That leaves the two Republicans: John Barge, a Bartow County school administrator; and Richard Woods, an Irwin County administrator.

As of Wednesday, neither candidate had …

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Your morning jolt: WWE founder Linda McMahon puts Connecticut AG in an embarrassing full nelson

On its front page today, the New York Times has this:

At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008….

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

In 1970, with his last deferment in jeopardy, he landed a coveted spot in the Marine Reserve, which virtually guaranteed that he would not be sent to Vietnam. He joined a unit in Washington that conducted drills and other exercises and focused on local projects, like fixing a campground and organizing a Toys for Tots drive.

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